Tough-on-crime Alabama politician arrested again, this time for cashew theft

Posted By KATE STANTON,  |  March 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM
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A former GOP candidate for Alabama agriculture commissioner was arrested on shoplifting charges Wednesday after swiping a handful of cashews from a Sam's Club store in Hoover, Ala.

Remembered for his gun-toting, tough-on-crime 2010 campaign ad, Dale Peterson ate from a container of cashews and put it back on the shelf, the blog YellowHammer reported Wednesday. According to, Peterson was released on $1,000 bail after three hours in police custody.

Peterson, who addressed the cashew-stealing incident later on Twitter, seemed surprised that he was arrested in the first place.

He also tweeted his side of the story.

“I picked up some cashews when I got to Sams this afternoon. Ate a handful. Put them in my cart & kept shopping,” Peterson explained. “An hour later, when I went to checkout, I put the cashews back (forgetting I had eaten a few), purchased $700 of merchandise & went to jail.”

The former Marine and police officer also faces an October shoplifting charge for allegedly walking past the registers of a Walmart with a shopping cart full of beer and toilet paper. Peterson said in February that he wanted to visit the restroom before paying for his items.

Peterson promised to "name names and take no prisoners" in his viral 2010 campaign ad, in which he flashed his rifle and blamed Alabama's "thugs and criminals" for keeping residents "in the dark."

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